Why You Can’t Ignore The Importance Of Steering Dampers

If you’re a mountain biker, you learn quickly that suspension is an essential part of the riding experience. And it won’t take long for you to learn about the role of the MTB steering damper.

The reason lies with the terrain you traverse along with its topography and your speed. Riding, of course, is a risky sport. It’s even more challenging when you add that uncertainty factor into the mix.

What Are Steering Dampers?

A steering damper is essentially part of a shock absorber. If you race or go-off road, they are crucial. Your bike’s fork takes on the brunt of the vertical movement when you go airborne. This part focuses on the lateral moves.

It consists of an oil bath with a damping rod. With some bikes, you can adjust the mountain bike steering damper to match the conditions of your ride. It’ll keep you steady when riding at slower speeds and when tacking climbs and descents.

Steering Dampers What are they

You’ll also see them on motorcycles and cars where they serve the same function to stabilize the steering.

You may also see another part referred to as a bicycle steering damper with a different function. The other type consists simply of a spring that connects to the fork and frame to keep it from falling over when you park it.

Why Are They Important for Every Aspiring MTB Rider?

If your bike has hardtail or full suspension, you’ll have shock absorbers in place with the ability to adjust the following with higher end components:

Rebound: defines the speed that it returns to its default state

Compression: refers to the travel or distance the suspension goes

A bike steering damper works along with the spring system of your fork to take the brunt of the force of your riding before rebounding back to its original position by controlling the speed at which this occurs.

Bike Steering Dampers

They are essential for a mountain biker because of the obstacles like rocks and roots that you’re likely to encounter on the trail. They transfer the energy that threatens to throw you off track by dissipating it as heat instead.


Controlling these factors allows you to smooth out and customize your ride. You can use it to reduce the bounce which translates into more stability.

Suspension Specs

Proper adjustment of your suspension is important for a comfortable experience. It starts with choosing the right mountain bike with the correct amount of travel for how you ride. It can range anywhere from one to eight inches.

For example, if you freeride, you’ll need one with a greater distance than if you stick to paved trails. You should also consider its sag. That refers to the amount of compression when you’re just sitting on the bike. Again, it varies with the kind of biking you do.

A bicycle steering damper puts you in control of the stability of your ride. A higher end suspension gives you the ability to fine-tune the compression and rebound to suit the terrain. For the serious mountain biker, it’s an essential feature.

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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